Five of the Cape’s most beautiful half marathons

Posted on 21 May 2021 By Anita Froneman

Road running is often looked down on by trail runners who claim that ‘there’s nothing like getting out into nature’. While they may have a point, that doesn’t mean road runs are all traipses through concrete jungles.

Despite the obvious advantages of road running – less expensive gear, safety in numbers and plenty of water tables along the route – there are also some beautiful runs out there for runners to enjoy. Alan Valkenburg lists some of his top ones around Cape Town.

Milkwood halfie


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Organised by: Harfield Harriers

Date: Usually February/March. This year may take place in December

Start: Soetwater Recreation Area, Kommetjie

Starting in the Soetwater Recreation Area, The Milkwood is special in that you get to run through the mist and watch waves crashing against the coast below you. Another nice little touch: instead of a medal, you get a Milkwood sapling to either take home and plant yourself or, donate. You start on Lighthouse Road and run towards Kommetjie before climbing up onto Main Road from where you can look down on the coast below.  You then run through Misty Cliffs to Scarborough before returning the way you came, rejoining Lighthouse Road and finishing back in the Soetwater Resort.

The Chappies Challenge


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Organised by: Hout Bay Harriers

Date: September

Start: Beach Crescent, Hout Bay

While this run may sound like suicide to casual runners, it really isn’t as tough as it sounds. But sound tough, it does. You start in Hout Bay and run a flat kilometre. Easy right? You then join Chapman’s Peak and run over it to the other end in Noordhoek. Yay! The good news: you did Chappies. The bad news: you have to do it again. You then turn around and run back. Like I say, it sounds daunting but the views out over the Atlantic keep you going.


Organised by: Helderberg Harriers

Date: October

Start: Doornbosch Rd, near Eikestad Primary, Stellenbosch

Runners start in Stellenbosch, heading towards Coetzenberg before completing a bit of a loop and then heading out on the R44. There are two significant climbs along this road as you pass the golf club before runners turn left onto the Stellenrust Road. Here you’ll run along a beautiful, tree-lined dirt road and experience the biggest climb of the route at around the halfway mark. However, once you reach the peak of this climb it’s almost all downhill until the primary school finish.

The Two Oceans halfie


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Organised by: Two Oceans Marathon NPC

Date: The Saturday before Easter Sunday, March/April

Start: Main Road, Newlands

While the ultra marathon (which starts 30 minutes later) gets all the plaudits, the halfie is no ugly step-sister. Starting in the leafy Southern Suburbs, the run gives you a gentle warm-up before throwing you up Edinburgh Drive.

You can get your breath back through Plumstead and Constantia before the monster climb of Southern Cross Drive. Fear not: the hordes on the roadsides will cheer you all the way up to Rhodes Drive and its beautiful twists and turns all the way past Kirstenbosch Gardens until you rejoin the M3 for the final slog to UCT.

The Knysna halfie


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Organised by: Knysna MC

Date: July

Start: In the Knysna Forest

Every runner who has done this race raves about it and here, I have a little secret to admit: I’ve never run it. I know, I know a) how can I include it if I haven’t run it and b) how can I not have run it. Well, I’ve tried twice… a few years back I travelled up and got quite a bad cold just a few days before race day. Then last year… well… no one ran it last year.

But this year I will be running it and I’ll report back in Getaway how it goes.

What I’ve heard is that it is absolutely beautiful – and freezing at the start – with a run through the forest and golf resort.

That’s my list. Of course, every Tom Dick and Harry knows better so I welcome your comments on what I got wrong and what should be included. And if you’re upcountry, why not send me your province’s list? You can find me at [email protected].


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Picture: Unsplash

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